Native Australian Anise Myrtle Cherry Jam

December is Summer time in Australia and in South Australia’s fruit growing region of the Adelaide Hills, it is cherry picking time.

When we lived in Adelaide my husband and I would take our two small children into the hills looking for fruit and berries growing on the sides of the road. We would usually find plenty of blackberries, pears, apricots and apples. But one year we discovered some cherry trees as we drove up a narrow bendy dirt track. There were three different varieties, smaller than commercially grown ones but so much juicier and tastier. We gorged ourselves on cherries while the juices ran down our hands and arms – it was delightful. The bagful we took back home was half full by the time we reached home and by then we had had our fill for the holiday season. So, not wanting to waste them, I made jam.

This is a savoury/sweet condiment ideal with a soft goats cheese for starters, or a crispy skin roast duck for lunch. It would also be delightful in Earth Food and Fire’s Braised Red Cabbage with Blueberries and Cloves, Make-Ahead Meal Mom’s Spiced Cranberry Pork Roast or even sandwiched between my Melting Moments or in Jenny Is Baking’s Linzer Cookies.

Originally I made the recipe with star anise. The aniseed flavour that comes from this beautiful star shaped seedpod is commonly used in Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines. But I have wanted to use more Native Australian ingredients in my cooking and Jenny’s Food Advent Calendar, “Spice It Up!” was the perfect opportunity to use something unique to Australia.


Anise Myrtle, commonly known as Aniseed Myrtle, is a rare tree that grows in the sub-tropics of Australia. The leaves are dried and infused in teas, used in flavouring fish and seafood, in crumbing meat, added to biscuits, cakes and even to flavour chocolate tuffles. There are many online suppliers of Native Australian foods. Supply Native is an Indigenous Business Directory that will search for Certified and Registered Indigenous Businesses, like First Food Co.


I was so excited to use Anise Myrtle I forgot to grind it first.

The measurements for this recipe are really flexible. Make a little or make a lot. My grandmother uses the ratio 1 pound of fruit to ¾ pound of sugar for her infamous apricot jam and it never fails. However, I have used a little less sugar to reduce the sweetness and enable the jam to be used in savoury dishes as well as sweet. I use a ratio of 1 part fruit to ½ part sugar.

Anise Myrtle Cherry Jam

  • 800 gm cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 400 gm white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Anise Myrtle, ground
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon Myrtle, ground
  • Pinch of salt

In a large saucepan place all the ingredients and stir to coat all the fruit in sugar.

Over medium heat, stirring often, bring the mixture to a rapid simmer.

Simmer rapidly, stirring often, until the jam has reduced and thickened. Test if the jam is set by placing a small amount on a saucer and allowing it to cool. Run your finger through the jam to test consistency and taste. You will know when it is cooked enough, when you have the consistency you like.

Place the hot jam into sterilised jars and seal. Once jam has cooled, tighten lids again and label.



Star Anise Cherry Jam

  • 800 gm cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 400 gm white sugar
  • 3 large star anise
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of salt

Use the same method for making the Anise Myrtle Cherry Jam.

A lovely gift for the holiday season, Anise Myrtle Cherry Jam can be enjoyed with cheeses, roast meats or in biscuits and cakes.

Check out the video on my YouTube channel, Rachael Hakim 

This entry was published on December 9, 2017 at 4:25 pm. It’s filed under Interviews, Rice & pasta and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “Native Australian Anise Myrtle Cherry Jam

  1. lizetfmb on said:

    I’ve been enjoying traveling around the world with this food advent calendar and learning about spices like this one. Great recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks great Rachel. I love cooking seasonally. Unfortunately, our growing season is over here.


  3. samira0894 on said:

    Too good and an easy one also. Loved it….


  4. I have made my own jams, but it never occurred to me to add star anise. Such a wonderful idea, thank you so much for sharing this with the food advent calendar!


  5. makeaheadmealmom on said:

    Rachael, this looks absolutely divine!!! 🙂


  6. Pingback: 12 recipes to inspire you this Christmas | coloured plates

  7. This sounds so good!! I have never made my own jam but your recipe looks like I should get started !


  8. Pingback: Top 5 recipes of 2017 | coloured plates

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